Jeans with a sports coat. I have talked briefly on this combination last year when talking about jeans, but I thought I may want to write a little bit on it more directly and specifically. Pairing jeans with a sports coat is combining the casual with the formal. This combination creates a kind of tension in our outfit which can evoke a really great vibe when done well. In addition, adding a tie increases the tension even more as it ups the "formality" on top, which in turn makes the jeans stand out as the casual to greater degree on the bottom.
I don't do this look too often, barely at all actually. There are guys who do this look quite a bit and they pull it off in this really great way. They have developed their personal style really well and are very clear-eyed in what they are going for and who they are. Although I don't pair this too often, I could very easily do so in my lifestyle, it would suit my life, what I do / need to do, and how I live very well. I just don't feel the draw / connection to it as strongly, so it isn't something I do so often.
It's a cool look, it has a great feeling. It is relaxed yet working, serious, involved, but not stuffy. It can feel very intentional and tell a very clearly articulated story / scene. It also feels so 90s. Or, at least it does to me. I feel a very 1990s Michael Keaton vibe around this look. I do not say that as a bad thing! I think that is awesome. There are pockets of the 1990s that I love. The setting I am wearing in the picture above feels especially 90s to me. The fact that the sport coat is actually from the 90s helps this along, of course. The button placement, the lapels. Combined with the rest of the outfit, it feels so 1990s.
In my opinion, I like this look most when done in a traditional way. That traditional way to me, being that the jeans are simple, plain, dark (generally but not exclusively) with a straight leg. If done with modern more fashion forward jeans, to me, it doesn't feel as intentional or well articulated. It feels more like what a fast fashion idea of 2021 would say is "dressing up". I think a navy blazer in this setting can be very nice and gives a very neo-prep feeling. I personally prefer wool and tweed rather than the navy blazer. A wool or tweed sport coat gives a bit more texture to the setting. Since the jeans are already plain, we don't need to worry about a check or a pattern on a sport coat overcrowding the jeans. We are open to choose something more bold on top.
I think this look is cool. I rarely do it, but maybe I should. On weekdays, I generally end up drifting more formal rather than more casual but who knows, our style evolves, who we are moves and goes on an ebb and flow to here and there. It's life. Maybe in 10 years I will love this and be doing it often. I don't know, that is the fun of it. This style we love has a tradition of course, but there is also music to it. Style is not just about following some formula. There is certainly formula that exists, but that isn't the totality. Style is a vibe, a music and it is supposed to be enjoyable, not dour and imposing.
Like life, it's always a balance, a dance even within tradition. I think there is more freedom within the tradition than we sometimes think, and sometimes what is freedom to one means restricting choice. Maybe in this corner there is a thread of freedom which means the freedom to restrict oneself in how one chooses within the framework and that restricting-preference may be different than someone else's restricting-preference.
Maybe, at a segment of the base, the individual choice of limitation is a part of a point in the emergence of personal style.